When It Comes to Keeping People Safe, Latinx Communities Are An Afterthought

The social distancing will impact many areas besides health

Adriana Maestas
ZORA
Published in
5 min readMar 23, 2020

--

Seniors shop for groceries at Northgate Gonzalez Market in Los Angeles during special hours open to seniors and the disabled.
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

TThe coronavirus pandemic provides an opportunity for the Latinx community to show its resilience and strength in the face of adversity. This community has always had a presence in the U.S. even though there are groups who have arrived more recently. It has built support systems across borders and across generations, so these connections will be important as the pandemic unfolds.

The nation’s largest minority group faces a unique set of challenges when it comes to accessing health care. Latinxs are disproportionately affected by chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and asthma, yet there’s a documented resiliency in certain health outcomes with this population. Undocumented Latinxs face additional limitations in their access to resources, especially when it comes to health care. In different states, there are organizations where the undocumented population can access various levels of care, and last year California became the first state to provide health care to some of its undocumented population. As the coronavirus continues to spread and impact everyone in the country and around the world, how is the Latinx community faring during this crisis?

There’s worry about how lower-income members of the Latinx community will fare because even when the economy is performing well in a wealthy state like California, more than half of Latinx households already face difficulties paying for basics.

For Latinx immigrants who are in detention facilities when there isn’t a pandemic, there have consistently been reports about a lack of care and medical negligence that have resulted in deaths of detainees of all ages. Some immigrant rights advocates are calling for the release of immigrants and the suspension of deportations. The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it would not arrest undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat during the coronavirus pandemic.

--

--

Adriana Maestas
ZORA
Writer for

Southern California based freelance writer